I’m writing to you as a woman who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 26 years. For 24 of those years, I’ve injected myself (on average), four times a day. Shots in my arms, legs, butt cheeks and stomach have ended in bruises, blood and bumps. I injected myself because for a long time, there wasn’t any other option.
In the 90’s another choice became available (as long as you didn’t mind being connected to tubing that ended in a big, black medical device). As a young, vain, self-conscious college student, I did mind, and continued using shots. I eventually tried this kind of pump (I won’t name names) when I was pregnant with my 1st child because I wanted the best tools to manage my pregnancy, but after 3 days I took it off. I hated it. I hated being attached to something, hated that the pump made my “invisible” illness, visible.
Finally the Omnipod came on the market; a wireless pump with a remote control. My doctor gave me a trail pod and when I peeled the tape and stuck the pod on my lower back, I couldn’t believe how easy and inconspicuous it was. Sign me up, I told her! I loved the Omnipod. I loved how I didn’t have to think about shots, how I could adjust for exercise and my late afternoon lows. I loved how with 3 kids, it made managing my crazy life a little less hectic. There were parts I didn’t love of course…I didn’t love that it ripped off easily and couldn’t be put back on. I didn’t love that when I wore it anywhere other than my lower back it was very visible, but most of all, I didn’t love the cost.
My monthly bill for using the Omnipod was $160. And that wasn’t counting insulin. I’m writing in the past tense because I am no longer wearing the Omnipod. I stopped because I couldn’t afford it. My insurance covered 60% of the cost and I had to make up the rest. I am a freelance writer and published author and work from home. My husband works and thankfully we have his insurance but still, we struggle to make ends meet and $160 a month is a lot of money.
What a horrible choice to have to make: money or care.
That’s why I’m writing to you Omnipod. To ask you for help. To ask that you make your equipment more affordable for the thousands of people like me whose lives could be a little bit easier with your pump. Diabetes is an expensive disease, don’t make us choose between better management and paying our bills.
Thanks for listening, I (and many others) look forward to your response.